Show Me the Money ... & the Innovation

Paul Bowers

Show Me the Money ... & the Innovation

Money and airport funding are definitely vital ingredients for creating and maintaining healthy airports. But I submit that there's another topic that should receive equal billing: innovation.

You can't build without money. I'll give you that. Money can create jobs, attract carriers, build safer runways and educate future generations of the airport leaders. But money alone won't fix all of our problems. In fact, we can become complacent and continue to spend funds the same way year after year because it's become a habit. We protect what money we have and risk becoming mired in the status quo, settling for the proverbial bird in the hand.

Now innovation is another story. It is money-agnostic. One can even argue that lack of money, and even desperation, can inspire innovation to great heights.

As a magazine about airport projects (operational as well as traditional brick-and-mortar) Airport Improvement has the privilege and honor of bringing you some of the industry's best and brightest innovations. Money is an important factor in the narratives, which is why we list how much various projects cost in an opening Facts & Figures box. However, innovation is often where the real story lies. 

Our story from Daytona International Airport (DAB) on Page 50 is a shining example of innovation ... and, I must add, collaboration between an airport and consultant. Together, their low-cost innovation was used to solve a need for demographic information. Information, with our old friend money, was the critical combination that brought new air service from New York's John F. Kennedy International to DAB. It's likely that neither money nor innovation would have worked on its own. It was the powerful synergy of the two that sealed the deal. Congratulations to DAB. 

If you have an innovation story that deserves to be told, please send me an email. That's how many of our articles get started.

Cheers,




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